Microsoft Cloud Growth Continues Unabated

The Microsoft FY20 Q4 results included good news for its cloud segments with increasing activity, numbers, and revenue. Although we didn’t get new user numbers for Office 365 and Teams, Microsoft included some other interesting data about Azure Active Directory and EMS in its narrative.

Outlook’s Notification Pane for Office 365 Incidents

Outlook for Windows boasts a new admin notification panel where incidents affecting the Office 365 tenant show up. It’s an interesting idea, but you wonder if there aren’t more important things for the developers to work on, especially as many other ways exist for administrators to find out when problems happen.

Microsoft 365 Security for IT Pros Published

The New Microsoft 365 Security for IT Pros eBook is now available from Gumroad.com. The book is modeled after Office 365 for IT Pros and covers the essential steps tenant administrators should take to secure and defend their organizations. Security is something that everyone involved in tenant administration needs to think about, so it’s good to have some solid advice from the pros.

Teams is the Most Difficult Office 365 Application to Backup

Because it sits on top of so many Microsoft 365 components, Teams is easily the hardest Office 365 workload to backup. You can try to backup Teams by copying its compliance records stored in Exchange Online, but that’s only a partial (and bad) solution that utterly fails to take the full spectrum of Teams data into account.

Word Combines @Mentions and SharePoint Online Sharing Links

Word users range from casual to professional writers. Those involved in collaborative co-authoring can now @mention others in comments. The feature is available in Word and PowerPoint (click to run) and the Office Online apps now and Excel desktop is due to get it too. Documents must be stored in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business to allow @mentioned people access the files.

Updated Usage Reports in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center

Several updates are available for the standard usage reports in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. One helps Office 365 tenants understand the changed user activity profile due to remote working. Another gives views of user activity across the complete tenant. The updates are useful and interesting, but an ISV product will do a better job of analyzing and reporting the same data.

The Renaming of Office 365 Groups

In the latest example of rebranding wizardry, Microsoft has announced that Office 365 Groups are becoming Microsoft 365 Groups. You’d wonder if the rename is just to keep the marketing people happy. But maybe the new name reflects what Office 365 Groups have become. Less of a collaboration platform and more of a membership service for Microsoft 365 apps.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium Tenants Get Azure Active Directory Premium P1

Microsoft 365 Business Premium customers will benefit from the provision of Azure Active Directory P1 Premium licenses. All good, but what about the Office 365 E3 tenants who pay the same monthly fee? Many enterprise tenants could use the features licensed by Azure Active Directory Premium P1, but they’ll have to pay $6/user/month to get the same benefit.

Microsoft 365 Compliance and Security Centers Rolling Out to Office 365 Tenants

The Microsoft 365 Compliance and Security centers are roling out to Office 365 tenants where they’ll replace the old Security and Compliance Center over time. The new centers look fresher than the SCC, but looks can deceive and it’s much more important that the functionality exposed in the new portals work reliably all the time.

Office 365 Reaches 180 Million Monthly Active Users

At their Q3 FY19 earnings call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Office 365 is now used by 180 million monthly active users. Office 365 is now growing at more than 4 million users per month. The earnings call also noted success for Enterprise Mobility and Security and the Outlook mobile client, both of which are now used by more than 100 million people.